- Category : Actress
- Type : GP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Penetration 3
Sigourney Weaver (born Susan Alexandra Weaver; October 8, 1949) is an American actress. She is known especially for her role of Ellen Ripley in the four Alien films: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection. Other notable roles include Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters and its sequel Ghostbusters II, Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey, Working Girl, and Grace Augustine in Avatar.
Her 1986 Academy Award nomination for Aliens is considered as a landmark in the recognition of science fiction, action, and horror genres, as well as a major step in challenging the gender role in cinema. Weaver progressively received fame for her numerous contributions to the science fiction film history (including minor roles in successful works such as Futurama, WALL-E, Paul and The Cabin in the Woods) and gained the nickname of "The Sci-Fi Queen". She also played the lead role as Secretary of State Elaine Barrish on USA Network's Political Animals miniseries.
Weaver has been nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Actress twice for Aliens and Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey, and Best Supporting Actress for Working Girl. She also won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Ice Storm, a Saturn Award for Best Actress for Aliens, and a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for Avatar. In addition she also earned Emmy Award, Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award nominations. She has been nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards and won both Best Actress in Drama and Best Supporting Actress in 1988 for Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl and becoming the first person ever to have won two acting Golden Globe Awards in the same year.
Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver in Manhattan, New York City, the daughter of Elizabeth Inglis (née Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins; 1913–2007), an English actress, and the NBC television executive and television pioneer Sylvester "Pat" Weaver (1908–2002). Her uncle, Doodles Weaver (1911–1983), was a comedian and actor. She has English, Scottish, and Ulster-Scots ancestry, including roots in New England. Weaver began using the name "Sigourney Weaver" in 1963 after a minor character (Sigourney Howard) in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby.
Weaver attended the Ethel Walker School, a girls' preparatory school in Simsbury, Connecticut. She also attended The Chapin School. Sigourney was reportedly 5′ 10½″ (179 cm) tall by the age of 14, although she only grew another inch during her teens to her adult height of 5′ 11½″ (182 cm). In 1967, at the age of 18, Weaver visited Israel and volunteered on a kibbutz for several months.
Weaver attended Sarah Lawrence College as well as Stanford University where she first began her involvement in acting, by living in Stanford's co-ed Beta Chi Community for the Performing Arts. Weaver earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at the Yale University School of Drama in 1974, where one of her appearances was in the chorus in a production of Stephen Sondheim's musical version of The Frogs, and another was as one of a mob of Roman soldiers alongside Meryl Streep in another production. Weaver later acted in original plays by her friend and classmate Christopher Durang. She later appeared in an "Off-Broadway" production of Durang's comedy Beyond Therapy in 1981, which was directed by the up-and-coming director Jerry Zaks.
Weaver's first role is often said to be in Woody Allen's 1977 comedy Annie Hall playing a minor role opposite Allen, whereas she appeared at least in Sidney Lumet's Serpico three years before (she meets Al Pacino at a party). Weaver appeared two years later as Warrant Officer/Lieutenant Ellen Ripley in Ridley Scott's blockbuster 1979 film Alien. She reprised the role in the three sequels of the Alien movie franchise, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection. Ty Burr of The Boston Globe states, "One of the real pleasures of "Alien" is to watch the emergence of both Ellen Ripley as a character and Sigourney Weaver as a star." In the sequel Aliens directed by James Cameron, critic Roger Ebert writes, "Weaver, who is onscreen almost all the time, comes through with a very strong, sympathetic performance: She's the thread that holds everything together." Weaver followed the success of Alien appearing opposite Mel Gibson in The Year of Living Dangerously released to critical acclaim and as Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II.
By the end of the decade, Weaver appeared in two of her most memorable and critically acclaimed performances in 1988 as Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist. The same year she appeared opposite Harrison Ford in a supporting role as Katharine Parker in the film Working Girl. Weaver won Golden Globe awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for her two roles that year. She received two Academy Award nominations in 1988, for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Working Girl and Best Actress for Gorillas in the Mist, making her one of the few actors nominated for two acting awards in the same year. By the early 1990s, Weaver appeared in several films including Ang Lee's The Ice Storm, earning her another Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress and winning a BAFTA Award, followed by Dave opposite Kevin Kline and Frank Langella. She played the role of agoraphobic criminal psychologist Helen Hudson in the 1995 movie Copycat. Weaver also concentrated on smaller and supporting roles throughout the decade such as Jeffrey (1994), Galaxy Quest (1999), and A Map of the World (1999) earning her another Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.
In 2001, she appeared in the comedy Heartbreakers playing the lead role of a con artist alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, Gene Hackman and Anne Bancroft. She appeared in several films throughout the decade including Holes (2003), the M. Night Shyamalan horror film The Village (2004), Vantage Point (2008), and Baby Mama (2008). Weaver also returned to Rwanda for the BBC special Gorillas Revisited. She was voted 20th in Channel 4's countdown of the 100 Greatest Movie Stars of All Time, being one of only two women in the Top 20 (the other was Audrey Hepburn).
In 2009, Weaver starred as Mary Griffith in her first made-for-TV movie, Prayers for Bobby, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award. She also guest starred in the TV show Eli Stone in the fall of 2008. She reunited with Aliens director James Cameron for his 2009 film Avatar, with Weaver playing a major part as Dr. Grace Augustine, leader of the AVTR (avatar) program on the film's fictional moon Pandora.
Weaver has done voice work in television and film. She had a guest role in the Futurama episode "Love and Rocket" in February 2002, playing the female Planet Express Ship. In 2006, she was the narrator for the American version of the Emmy Award-winning series Planet Earth. Also in 2006, Weaver narrated "A Matter of Degrees", a short film that plays daily at The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks (The Wild Center) in Tupper Lake, New York. In 2008, Weaver was featured as the voice of the ship's computer in the Pixar and Disney release, WALL•E. She also voiced a narrating role in another computer-animated film, 2008's The Tale of Despereaux, based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo.
Weaver has hosted two episodes of the long-running NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live: once on the 12th season premiere in 1986, and again, on a season 35 episode in January 2010. In March 2010, she was cast for the lead role as Queen of the Vampires in Amy Heckerling's Vamps. She was honored at the 2010 Scream Awards earning The Heroine Award which honored her work in science fiction, horror and fantasy films. In May 2010, there were reports that Weaver had been cast for the lead role Margaret Matheson in the Spanish thriller film Red Lights.
In September 2011, it was confirmed that Weaver will be returning to Avatar 2, with James Cameron stating that "no one ever dies in science fiction."
Weaver was engaged to reporter Aaron Latham in 1967. She has been married to the filmmaker Jim Simpson since October 1, 1984. They have one daughter, Charlotte Simpson, who was born on April 13, 1990.
After making Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey, she became a supporter of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and is now the DFGFI's honorary chairwoman.She was honored by the Explorers Club for this work. Weaver is considered to be an environmentalist. In October 2006, she drew international attention through a news conference at the start of a United Nations General Assembly policy deliberation. She outlined the widespread threat to ocean habitats posed by deep-sea trawling, an industrial method for harvesting fish. On April 8, 2008, she hosted the annual gala of the Trickle Up Program, a non-profit organization focusing on those in extreme poverty, mainly women and the disabled, in the Rainbow Room.